In a recent post, I discussed the subject of basing characters on real people.
In general, I wouldn’t suggest basing your characters entirely upon people you know in real life. However, being inspired by actual people, and incorporating some of their personality traits into your characters, is fine.
If done well, this can make your fictional people significantly more believable and interesting.
But here’s the thing: Strangers can provide as much, or more, inspiration, than people you know.
People watching: It can help.
As long as you manage to people watch without appearing to be some sort of crazy stalker, that is.
The fact that you don’t know someone forces you to invent almost everything behind what you see on the surface.
But a snippet of conversation, or an interesting personality trait of any kind, can provide the spark your imagination requires.
And that’s what, as writers, we’re always searching for: sparks. These are the added ingredients that can elevate an okay character to a good character – or, better still, a good character to a great one.
So, stay alert. People watch to your heart’s content.
And hopefully, you will find some ideas that will assist you, as you develop your characters, and create more characters, in the future.